Geitost, Norwegian for goat cheese
Exploring everything Norwegian is my new passion since researching Ineke’s Mitten. My main character, Nels Torkle, loved geitost, a mild, sweet golden-brown cheese, made with whey heated together with cow’s and goat’s milk. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel, which gives the cheese its characteristic taste and brown color.
Geitost, pronounced yay-toast, goes well with crackers, butter, preserves, fresh fruit and crunchy veggies. You can buy it at many American supermarkets, specialty cheese counters or online. In Norway, it is served as wafer-thin slices shaved with a cheese plane or thin knife.
In the book, Nels tells Ineke how much he loves geitost, and her, while at his family’s Sunday koldtbord, or smorgasbord in Swedish. In his first letter to his parents from his secret location in Vermont, he shares his disappointment in the American options.
“The little store near where I live is called Lemrey’s Market. They sell goat cheese, but it is bland, nothing like my favorite geitost. Breakfast here comes with what they call ‘hash browns.’ They don’t compare to our lefse potato pancakes. When I come home I will climb into the hills and pick alpine flowers from the meadows and bring you fresh berries for your Sunday koldtbord.”
Koldtbord translates as “cold table.” It is a simple, yet colorful, variety of open-faced sandwiches. Here are a few ideas:
Lefse potato flatbread
The links below take you to recipes for lefse but last week I discovered I could buy in in my local supermarket, or from Mrs. Olson’s online. Yum.
Finally a snow joke
Q: Where does a snowman keep his money?
A: In a snow bank.